Agent Pendergast Book Series

The vast majority of what I read is SF/F, but one of my all time favorite book series are the Pendergast books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. The series has been around since 1995 (!) and I’ve been reading for most of that time. It’s a modern day Sherlock Holmes series that’s mostly a detective mystery/thriller, but there are occasional SF/F elements involved. Unfortunately the genre concepts have mostly gone away in the later half of the series to be replaced by serial killers, which of course I’m not as interested in.

There have been a whopping TWENTY books staring Pendergast, not to mention even more spin-off novels, not to mention solo novels by Preston or Child taking place in their own continuities. The first decade of the Lincoln/Child books are stupendous page turners with a heavy X-Files vibe and I’ve read them several times.

I just finished reading the newest entry, BLOODLESS, and I loved it! This is without a doubt the best Pendergast book in almost a decade. It truly felt like a return to form for a series that had increasingly just become generic serial killer tales.

If anyone is interested in an engrossing mystery thriller, I highly recommend this series. It begins with THE RELIC in 1995, which was made into a very disappointing big budget movie that ruins the story. Not only does it completely change the monster in a ridiculous way… it omits Pendergast from the story! The star of the twenty book series! I remember reading this book as a teenager and being absolutely creeped out by the monster. And the premise of a creature stalking the night halls of the NYC Museum of Natural History is such an irresistible idea. (The movie, of course, was set in Chicago instead of NYC!)

The first three books in the series, THE RELIC, RELIQUARY, and CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, are all incredible thrillers. Their first trilogy, BRIMSTONE – DANCE OF DEATH – BOOK OF THE DEAD, are also excellent. I do feel the series never quite hit those highs again, but the middle books are pretty fun. And even the worst Preston and/or Child book is still absolutely worth a read!

Babylon 5 What If?: Four Seasons!

Disclaimer: This will only interest deep seated B5 fans.

Back in the late 90s one of my favorite time wasting mental exercises was reimagining Babylon 5 into different formats to take out some of the lesser episodes in Season 1 and 5, and also to add in intended material from the movies or the original run time. Now that JMS is rebooting the series on the CW in the fall, I took another crack at it. Here’s B5 in four seasons with all the chuffah cut out!

Season One (“The Coming of Shadows”)

  1. The Gathering Part One
  2. The Gathering Part Two
  3. Midnight on the Firing Line
  4. Soul Hunter
  5. The Parliament of Dreams
  6. Mind War
  7. And The Sky Full Of Stars
  8. Deathwalker
  9. Survivors
  10. By Any Means Necessary
  11. Signs and Portents
  12. A Voice in the Wilderness part 1
  13. A Voice in the Wilderness part 2
  14. Babylon Squared
  15. The Quality of Mercy
  16. Chrysalis
  17. Points of Departure
  18. Revelations
  19. The Geometry of Shadows
  20. A Race Through Dark Places
  21. Soul Mates
  22. The Coming of Shadows

Season Two (“Severed Dreams”)

  1. All Alone in the Night
  2. GROPOS
  3. Acts of Sacrifice
  4. Hunter, Prey
  5. There All the Honor Lies
  6. And Now For a Word
  7. Knives
  8. In the Shadow of Z’ha’dum
  9. Confessions and Lamentations
  10. Divided Loyalties
  11. The Long, Twilight Struggle
  12. Comes the Inquisitor
  13. The Fall of Night
  14. Matters of Honor
  15. Convictions
  16. A Day in the Strife
  17. Voices of Authority
  18. Passing Through Gethsemane
  19. Dust to Dust
  20. Messages from Earth
  21. Point of No Return
  22. Severed Dreams

Season Three (“Into the Fire”)

  1. Ceremonies of Light and Dark
  2. A Late Delivery From Avalon
  3. Sic Transit Vir
  4. Ship of Tears
  5. Interludes and Examinations
  6. Walkabout
  7. War Without End, Part One
  8. War Without End, Part Two
  9. Grey 17 Is Missing
  10. And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place
  11. Shadow Dancing
  12. Z’ha’dum
  13. The Hour of the Wolf
  14. Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi?
  15. New Standalone
  16. The Summoning
  17. New Standalone
  18. Falling Toward Apotheosis
  19. The Long Night Part One
  20. The Long Night Part Two
  21. Into the Fire Part One
  22. Into the Fire Part Two

 Season Four (“No Surrender, No Retreat”)

  1. Thirdspace Part One
  2. Thirdspace Part Two
  3. Epiphanies
  4. Atonement
  5. Racing Mars
  6. Moments of Transition
  7. No Surrender, No Retreat
  8. The Exercise of Vital Powers
  9. The Face of the Enemy
  10. Intersections in Real Time
  11. Between the Darkness and the Light
  12. Endgame
  13. Rising Star
  14. The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari
  15. Darkness Ascending
  16. And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder
  17. Movement of Fire and Shadow
  18. The Fall of Centauri Prime
  19. The Wheel of Fire
  20. Call to Arms Part One
  21. Call to Arms Part Two
  22. Sleeping in Light